Basra


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Basra

(bŭs`rə), Arabic al Basrah, city (1987 pop. 406,296), SE Iraq, on the Shatt al Arab. Basra is Iraq's second largest city and principal port. Its commercially advantageous location, near oil fields and 75 mi (121 km) from the Persian Gulf, has made it prosperous, and oil is refined in the city. Petroleum products, grains, wool, and dates are exported. Basra was founded by the caliph UmarUmar
or Omar
, c.581–644, 2d caliph (see caliphate). At first hostile to Islam, he was converted by 618, becoming an adviser to Muhammad. He succeeded Abu Bakr as caliph without opposition in 634. In his reign Islam became an imperial power.
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 I, at the site of modern Az Zabair. It was a cultural center under Harun ar-RashidHarun ar-Rashid
[Arab.,=Aaron the Upright], c.764–809, 5th and most famous Abbasid caliph (786–809). He succeeded his brother Musa al-Hadi, fourth caliph, a year after the death of his father, Mahdi, the third caliph.
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 and declined with the decay of the Abbasid caliphate. Its possession was long contested by the Persians and the Turks. Largely in ruins by the mid-14 cent., Basra was subsequently re-established on its present site. The British occupied Basra during World War I and used its port; they remained there until 1930. After World War I the construction of a rail line to Baghdad and the building of a modern harbor restored the city's importance. Due to its location on the heavily contested Shatt al Arab waterway, Basra was hard-hit by Iranian forces in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq War,
1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns
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. The port was further bombed by western coalition forces in the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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 (1991), primarily to thwart covert trade. Basra is the seat of a branch of the Univ. of Baghdad. The name also appears as Bassora, Bussora, and Busra.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Basra

 

(or Bassorah), a city in southern Iraq and administrative center of the liwa (province) of Basra. It has a population of 313,000 (1965). Basra is a large port on the Shatt al-Arab River and at high tide is accessible to oceangoing vessels. A railroad and highway junction, it has distilleries, rope and cable production, and handicraft enterprises. Dates are also processed. Oil is extracted nearby at Az Zubayr and Rumaylah. The city is intersected by numerous canals (“Venice of the East”). Most of the city is covered by the verdure of palm groves and orchards.

Basra was founded by Caliph Omar I in 637 or 638 and during the eighth and ninth centuries became one of the most important cultural and economic centers of the Caliphate. The city was destroyed by the Mongols in 1258. In the 1530’s it became part of the Ottoman Empire. In November 1914, Basra was occupied by British troops; after World War I, it became part of Iraq. During the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s, Basra was one of the centers of the workers’ and anti-imperialist movement.

REFERENCE

Pellat, Ch., and S. H. Longrigg. “Basra.” In Encyclopedic de I’Islam, vol. 1. Leiden-Paris, 1960. Pages 1117–1120.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Basra

, Basrah, Busra, Busrah
a port in SE Iraq, on the Shatt-al-Arab. Pop.: 1 187 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The children of Basra have been brave and have remained strong, and children all around the world are proud of you.
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The failure of Basra's bid, scores a major political victory for the Shiite Alliance under Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, who has long rejected the project due to his vision for an expanded federal project to include nine Shiite provinces in the southern and central Iraq.
As members of the West Midlands Regiment of the TA drive through the hectic and chaotic streets of Basra City they come under a volley of shouting from Iraqis, but are also waved at and even saluted by some.
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To make Basra an autonomous region would mean to create an atmosphere without such imposing security.
The 'big missile' was also launched from inside the city and there were further reports of four missiles being spotted at a school in Basra, where at least two mobile Scud launchers have also been spotted.
She added, "In 2008, the provincial council submitted a request to the Electoral Commission to hold a referendum on the establishment of the province of Basra, but it failed after 10% of the votes could not be obtained".
Al Waili said that the people of Basra do not wish to be included in a plan that incorporates central and southern Iraq into one federation.
Al-Bajari criticized the "position of the political blocs that cry a lot on Basra and its injustice to disregard the rights of the province," indicating that Basra is the economic lung of Iraq and need to restore infrastructure as a major source of oil exports and must be justified and make it a city comparable to developed cities in neighboring countries./ End
"The Basra police forces have launched 10 inspection operations in different parts of the Province, detaining 23 wanted persons, suspected with terror acts on Thursday," the Media director told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
The latest battles for Basra, and attempts by armed groups to undermine the recently improved security in Baghdad have been portrayed by much of the media as a power struggle among rival Shiite factions.